Are my old LPs worth anything?
October 21, 2005 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Are any of these old vinyl LPs/records worth anything?

A friend at work gave me a small pile of 1960s/70s LPs to see if I could sell them for any reasonable amount of money. I use ebay a lot, but not for selling anything that might be "collectible." I also have a lot of ties to the local music scene, so the co-worker figured I'd know what to do with 'em. Unfortunately, I don't. Here's a list of what he gave me - all of them are in "good" condition at best.

Jeff Beck - Truth
Jesus Christ Superstar
James Taylor - Sweet Baby James
Simon and Garfunkel - Bookends
Graham Nash - Songs for Beginners
Tom Rush - The Circle Game
Paul McCartney - McCartney
Crosby, Stills and Nash - (self-titled)
Janis Joplin - In Concert
Woodstock 3 record set
Santana - (self-titled)
Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman
"Summer of '42" Soundtrack
Richie Havens - Stonehenge
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory

Are any of these worth anything at all? If so, where's the best place to sell them?
posted by autojack to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total)
posted by cribcage at 7:23 PM on October 21, 2005

I would say no, especially if you're right about the "good" condition at best part.
posted by hototogisu at 7:24 PM on October 21, 2005

I work in a record store, we wouldn't buy them.
posted by HSWilson at 7:46 PM on October 21, 2005

Funny you should ask this. Last weekend I convinced my wife to put a bunch of her old industrial/dance vinyl LPs on Ebay (we were going to toss them). We're up to over $175 for about ten late 80s Euro trash LPs! My Ebay due diligence told me we'd be lucky to get $20 for the bunch.

Sometimes you never know.
posted by punkfloyd at 7:47 PM on October 21, 2005

Some of the titles you listed could be worth some money, but only if they weren't reprints, and if there was something special about them--for example, the Santana one could be worth a lot if it was in mono vs. stereo. You don't have anything a serious collector would bother with. All of the titles would retail for about $10-20, but it would take several years to sell them all at that price.
posted by lester at 7:55 PM on October 21, 2005

Cat Stevens "Tea for the Tillerman" was thought to be special in therms of the audio portion (about 20 years ago.) If it is in really good condition it might be worth something to an audiophile.
posted by leafwoman at 8:01 PM on October 21, 2005

Maybe a dollar each.
posted by Falconetti at 8:27 PM on October 21, 2005

Punkfloyd has the right idea: these don't look like they ought to be worth much money, but if you take the eBay approach, you can maximize your money. You never know what kind of person is looking for a good condition at best copy of the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack. Hell, if I were in the right mood and phase, I might bid on it.
posted by jdroth at 8:36 PM on October 21, 2005

Out of all of those, the JCSS album might be a semi-winner...but only if it's the first pressing of the original cast recording with the original libretto intact.
Often it's the little details. Like having the original Cheech and Chong "Big Bambu" album with the giant rolling paper still intact.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:47 PM on October 21, 2005

tom rush might be worth a little in very good condition ... the rest of those are very common and a garage sale's your best bet ...
posted by pyramid termite at 9:24 PM on October 21, 2005

Thorzdad - I think we can all agree that the giant rolling paper in a Cheech and Chong album is no little detail.
posted by hellbient at 12:07 AM on October 22, 2005

I have a Big Bambu with the giant rolling paper intact ...
posted by Makebusy7 at 3:58 AM on October 22, 2005

I liquidated my husband's record collection via Ebay. As the others have said, it's the rare stuff that moves quickly. These are not rare albums.

It's also incredibly labor intensive to sell LP's on Ebay - each has to be scanned and described individually. The amount of time you'd spend getting the sales set up wouldn't be justified by your anticipated return. You'll also probably have to relist them more than once, ponying up the Ebay fees each time.

If it were me, I'd make a quick inventory including title, condition and estimated value and then donate them to the used book store at our local library (or any nonprofit that sell albums.) Have them sign the sheet and you can take it as a deduction off your taxes. Less money, but far less labor involved.

Good luck!
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 4:51 AM on October 22, 2005

Hey i'm drooling over these records. If you just need them off your hands, send them to me. I am willing to pay anythung under $20, My email addy is in my profile.
posted by wheelieman at 7:55 AM on October 22, 2005

Have you looked these up in ebay's completed auctions?

the Santana one could be worth a lot if it was in mono vs. stereo

Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends could be worth about $100 if it's the mono version, more if it's got the poster. The stereo version with the poster in great condition would still be worth selling on ebay.

Key to determining record value is accurate grading. If your records are truly in "Good" condition (i.e. fairly beat up) they won't be worth much at all. If they aren't that bad you could sell these as a lot on ebay, although I've seen similar lots go for as low as $0.75.

If you're going to sell these individually: Grade accurately and describe any flaws. Include a picture of the cover and label, but don't pay for listing upgrades unless you've got something really specail. Include the catalog number and indicate mono vs. stereo. Offer international shipping (lots of collectors in Europe and Japan.)
posted by hydrophonic at 9:33 AM on October 22, 2005

You have maybe $5 worth of records there (if actually in "good" condition). You can either enjoy them as records, or sell them on eBay and hope to get a sucker.
Of those, the ones that would be most likely to sell (my estimation) would be the Cat Stevens and CSNY because those are perennially being rediscovered by college students. Still, you should expect to get about $2 each for them. That's what the record store with the best prices has them tagged at here.
posted by klangklangston at 9:54 AM on October 22, 2005

Frame the sleeves and sell 'em to yuppies at inflated prices to decorate their guitar rooms.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:49 PM on October 22, 2005

I have lots of obscure albums I acquired when I worked at a record store in the 70s. For example: a Four Seasons album called "Genuine Imitation Life," which was Frankie Valli's attempt at making the transition to hippie-dom. I wonder if things like that would be valuable?

posted by BillyBoy556 at 6:39 PM on January 10, 2006

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